In the Loop
General News : Feb 1, 2018

UF representatives advocate for the arts in the state capitol

By Coral Dixon

On Wednesday, Jan. 24, representatives from the University of Florida, including students, faculty and staff, participated in the Alliance Arts and Culture Day 2018.

The event, presented by the Florida Cultural Alliance, featured speakers and performances in order to advocate for state investment in the arts in Florida. Advocates used key statistics to strengthen their positions, such as the fact that for every dollar invested in the arts by the state, there is a nine dollar return.

Other statistics shared that 63 percent of Americans believe that the arts unify our communities regardless of age, race and ethnicity, and that students engaged in arts learning have higher GPAs, standardized test scores and college-going rates as well as lower dropout rates.

The Florida Higher Education Arts Network (FHEAN), which is composed of higher university deans and other representatives, had a presence at the event. Friends of Music President Jim Theriac, Director of the School of Music Dr. Kevin Orr, and Executive Assistant to the Dean of the College of the Arts Piper Call represented UF at the event.

FHEAN presents students from each major university as Arts Advocacy Day Award Winners. The winners from UF were Afsheen Misaghi and Keturah Lansiquot.

Misaghi is a second-year Master of Fine Arts in Acting student, and Lansiquot is a senior pursuing degrees in both music and Spanish along with an undergraduate certificate in Music in Medicine from the Center of Arts and Medicine. The students helped to demonstrate the positive impact of the state investing in the arts.

As well as listen to speakers, the students had the chance to meet with Florida Senator Keith Perry, who conversed with them about his efforts in Kindergarten through 2nd grade music education, and his work and support for UF’s School of Music. Through this meeting, students were able to gain a better understanding of the legislative processes behind advocating for the arts.

For legislative updates and more information about the Florida Cultural Alliance, visit